Spirit of PaperTigers: If you could send your book anywhere in the world… (Part 2)

SPT SealA couple of weeks ago I posted the responses of some of the authors and illustrators of the books in our Spirit of PaperTigers‘ 2010 Book Set to the question, “If you were to pick a place anywhere in the world to send your book, where would it be and why?” – and what about the others, what did they say?

Lucia Gonzalez, author of The Storyteller’s Candle (Children’s Book Press, 2008):

I would like The Storyteller’s Candle to travel to Puerto Rico, to be in classrooms, libraries, and homes from the smallest town to the capital city San Juan. I want children in the island to know and be proud of the work of Pura Belpré, and to re-encounter the stories that belong to them.

and Lulu Delacre, the book’s illustrator:

I would like to send The Storyteller’s Candle to Tibetan schools for monks and nuns in Ladakh, India. Their lovely children have no libraries, and live off the generosity of others. They are taught English and the lesson that Pura Belpré imparts at the end of the book might be one they truly connect to.

Katie Smith Milway, author of One Hen (Kids Can Press, 2008):

If I could send One Hen anywhere in the world right now, it would be to Haiti, in Creole, to inspire children there to play an entrepreneurial role in rebuilding their nation. Happily, a Haitian Creole edition of the book is due out in 2010 through publisher EducaVision.

and Eugenie Fernandes, the book’s illustrator:

One Hen is already at the White House, so… after that I would like to send it… everywhere!, because it’s a book that connects us all.

Guo Yue and Clare Farrow, authors of Little Leap Forward: A Boy in Beijing (Barefoot Books, 2008):

Little Leap Forward is about the lives of children who are growing up in a very poor, overcrowded society, in which food is rationed and there are no toys (beyond what they can make themselves) – a closed society in which freedom, knowledge and creativity are suppressed, and the people they love are about to be taken away from them. It is also a story about the irrepressible power of friendship, love and the imagination, even in the face of hardship and revolution.

So if we could send the book to children in areas of need in the world, it would be to any country where people are not free to express themselves, where families are divided, and children suffer from hunger, fear and poverty. In some small way, we would love to give those children the feeling that they are not just tiny grasses blowing helplessly in the wind (there is an old Chinese saying about this), but that they can find strength through nature and friendship, and hope for a better future by making the most simple gestures of freedom and compassion, whether it is releasing a caged bird (as Little Leap Forward does), finding music in everyday sounds, taking care of a friend, or flying a homemade kite in the wind.

and Helen Cann, the book’s illustrator:

I’d like Little Leap Forward to go anywhere where lives are repressed and people are told what to think and do. Little Leap Forward is about the triumph of hope, love and imagination over oppression.

Once again, those interviewed have provided us with plenty of food for thought – and perhaps you have very particular ideas about where you’d send special books like those that make up the Spirit of PaperTigers Book Set? Do let us know…


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